Personnel certification has become international and has engendered an increasingly competitive and complex global workforce, underscoring the value of industry-recognized credentials that can be carried across national borders. In response to this growing need, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standardization and conformity assessment system, is expanding its activities to enable international personnel certification bodies to achieve the rigorous ANSI accreditation.
Marking the first time a U.S.-based accreditation body has performed an assessment of a personnel certification body outside North America, Dr. Vijay Krishna, ANSI senior program manager, traveled to Malaysia this month along with ANSI assessors Dr. Lynn Webb and Ms. Mickie Rops to conduct the on-site assessment of the EC-Council (the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants). EC-Council is committed to cybersecurity and currently seeking ANSI accreditation of its Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v8) certification program. This recognition is important because many U.S. federal agencies and private organizations use this credential to protect their IT systems.
“ANSI is proud to break new ground in providing cross-frontier accreditation to personnel certification bodies internationally” said Dr. Krishna. “This demonstrates the recognized value of the Institute’s accreditation process and the portability of ANSI-accredited certification credentials.”
According to the EC-Council, a certified ethical hacker is a skilled professional who penetrates one’s own computer or system in a lawful and legitimate manner to assess security and vulnerabilities and take countermeasures before an actual compromise by a malicious hacker occurs. The EC-Council’s CEH program was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) under the DOD 8570 directive for the agency’s Information Assurance (IA) Workforce Improvement Program.
Under the DoD 8570 directive, all agency employees and contractors involved in information assurance must receive and maintain certification for the highest level functions that they perform related to data management, use, processing, storage, and transmission. ANSI is designated by the DoD directive as the accreditor for the IA Workforce Improvement Program through ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Program, which is based on the American National Standard (ANS) and international standard ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, General requirements for bodies operating certification of persons.
“Recognition by DoD attests to the high quality of ANSI’s personnel certification accreditation program, and is just the latest example of how government agencies in key sectors rely upon ANSI accreditation as the most rigorous and comprehensive third-party verification of the competence of personnel certification bodies utilizing ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024,” said Roy Swift, Ph.D., ANSI senior director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs.
ANSI is the first personnel certification accreditation body in the U.S. to fulfill the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the highest internationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies.
ANSI’s rigorous accreditation process includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments of all certification body applicants, and make recommendations to the body responsible for making the accreditation decision. ANSI’s commitment to the quality of its certification accreditation program includes an assessor field evaluation to ensure compliance to the Institute’s policies and procedures, which are based on ISO/IEC 17011 requirements. Dr. Krishna’s visit to the on-site assessment in Malaysia, where he observed the two assessors conducting the audit, was a key part of this process.
ANSI’s portfolio of third-party accreditation services assess the competence of organizations that certify products and personnel; validation/verification bodies engaged in the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases; and organizations that issue education and training certificates to U.S. workers. For more information about the Institute’s accreditation services, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).